Arena era begins with scoreless draw vs. Serbia

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

Bruce Arena hoped to start his second tenure at the helm of the U.S. National Team with a victory. Instead, the United States scuffed their chances in a scoreless draw against Serbia in San Diego.

Arena drew intrigue with his lineup choices, starting Nick Rimando in goal, Chad Marshall at center back, Graham Zusi at right fullback and Darlington Nagbe on the left of a 4-2-3-1. Nagbe was particularly effective, putting in a solid 87 minutes which included a pair of first half chances.

The match was generally lacking in quality chances, with the USMNT managing a single shot on goal to Serbia’s two. Chris Pontius and Juan Agudelo challenged goal late, but it was Rimando that saved the U.S. with a late-match stop.

Despite the lack of action, this match did have historic meaning with Jozy Altidore earning his 100th cap, Benny Feilhaber returning from an extended international absence, and Chris Pontius, Sebastian Lleget and Jorge Villafana earning their first caps.

The U.S. head to Chattanooga this Friday to take on Jamaica.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 19-Graham Zusi, 15-Steve Birnbaum, 5-Chad Marshall, 2-Greg Garza (14-Jorge Villafaña, 69); 4-Michael Bradley (Capt.), 13-Jermaine Jones (18-Sebastian Lletget, 46); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (23-Chris Pontius, 65), 16-Sacha Kljestan (10-Benny Feilhaber, 77), 6-Darlington Nagbe (9-Juan Agudelo, 87); 17-Jozy Altidore (8-Jordan Morris, 74)
Subs not used: 3-Brad Evans, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 12-Luis Robles, 20-Dax McCarty, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 22-David Bingham
Head coach: Bruce Arena

SRB: 1-Filip Manojlović; 3-Nemanja Miletić, 5-Nikola Maraš, 7-Srđan Plavšić (17-Lazar Jovanović, 81), 10-Aleksandar Paločević (9-Marko Mrkić, 64), 11-Marko Gobeljić (2-Marko Klisura, 84), 13-Nikola Ćirković, 14-Nemanja Ćalasan (4-Miloš Simonović, 55), 15-Stefan Panić, 16-Jovan Đokić (6-Marko Jevtović, 77), 18-Saša Jovanović (8-Enver Alivodić, 63)
Subs not used: 12-Ognjen Čančarević
Head coach: Slavoljub Muslin

Stats Summary: USA / SRB
Shots: 12 / 8
Shots on Goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 18 / 14
Offside: 5 / 5

Misconduct Summary: 
USA – Sacha Kljestan (caution) 57th minute
SRB – Nikola Ćirković (caution) 80